If you didn’t think last week’s race was wild, enter stage left the Bahrain outer circuit as one of the leading contenders for the craziest race of this incredible 2020 Formula 1 season that just keeps on giving.

The man without a seat for next year, Sergio Perez, capitalised on Mercedes’ disastrous double stack pit-stop mistake to take the first win for a Mexican driver since 1970, and was joined on the podium by Renault’s Esteban Ocon and teammate Lance Stroll. 

After a breathless couple of weeks in the desert, here are our winners and losers from the Sakhir GP…

Sergio Perez Reigns Supreme As Mercedes Encounter Disaster | F1 Winners & Losers Sakhir GP

Winner: Sergio Perez - Racing Point

It seems absolutely unbelievable that Sergio Perez is currently without a race seat for next year, and even still it seems crazier that he is moving out of the way for Sebastian Vettel.

His first lap consisted of a clash with Charles Leclerc & Max Verstappen, pushing Checo all the way down to last as the other two retired. 

Then, the drive of his life began as Perez stormed to the front with some brilliant overtakes, and completely underlined his remarkable abilities by scoring an sensational maiden win. 

A shoutout must also go to Lance Stroll, who has been dealt a strong hand of bad luck for the second half of his season, but the Canadian was able to grab his second podium of the season in third, assisting Perez in increasing Racing Point’s P3 standing in the constructors’. 

Loser: Mercedes

Netflix were back filming with Mercedes again this weekend, and thus the cursed pit-stop returned, with the reigning world champions making what team principal Toto Wolff described as a “colossal f***-up” as they mixed up the tyres and cost George Russell a debut win.

And, if you thought it couldn’t get any worse - Valtteri had a complete shocker. 

A poor start from the Finn allowed Russell to swoop past into Turn 1 and pull away, with Bottas struggling to match Russell for pace. 

Russell’s Williams replacement Jack Aitken then broke the front wing off his car after clipping the barriers, leading to a safety car which ironically set off Mercedes’ late heartache. 

The team did not need to pit its cars but opted to make a safety stop which ended up being a calamitous double-stack as both drivers were heavily delayed. 

Russell then had to stop again on the next lap after accidentally being put onto a mixed set of mediums, while Bottas suffered a long delay as his crew had to re-fit his old Hard tyres back onto his car. 

The error threw away a potential win as Bottas struggled to eighth, one place ahead of Russell who recovered from a late puncture to claim his first points in F1. 

Mercedes were later fined €20,000 for the tyre mistake on Russell’s car, but the Brit was allowed to hold onto his maiden Formula 1 points.

Winner: George Russell

Despite agonisingly missing out on a first victory in F1, George Russell can still consider himself a winner.

Russell howed his prowess, determination, sublime racecraft and most importantly, that he is worthy of a top-team seat at Mercedes. 

Considering Russell only discovered on Tuesday that he would be filling in for the Covid-19 positive Lewis Hamilton, and had three practice sessions to get up to speed with the monster Mercedes, he can certainly pat himself on the back for his incredible efforts.  

And despite the horrific tyre mix-up, Russell could still have won the race after brilliantly charging from fifth to second, only to have his day well and truly ruined when he picked up a puncture.

Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be for George but there is no denying that a star has been born. 

Loser: Leclerc 

Charles Leclerc earned himself a three-place grid penalty for next week’s race in Abu Dhabi before lap 1 had even been completed, after diving up the inside of Max Verstappen at Turn 4, locking up and running into Sergio Perez, sending both cars spinning. 

The move eliminated Leclerc and Verstappen from the race, and destroyed any hopes of Ferrari picking up points today as teammate Sebastian Vettel finished in a dismal 12th. 

Vettel did criticise Leclerc’s diving at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, and was certainly vindicated after the Monegasque repeated the move which didn’t end as well as he had planned on this occasion. 

Winner: Esteban Ocon

Today was a great opportunity for Esteban Ocon to prove his haters wrong, and that he certainly did with a fantastic drive to second place, earning Renault its highest finishing position of the season. 

The Frenchman has faced a tough battle alongside teammate Daniel Ricciardo all season with the Australian largely enjoying the upper hand. 

But Sunday’s result will certainly be a boost to Ocon, particularly with the arrival of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso next year. 

Loser: Red Bull

On a day where Max Verstappen most certainly would’ve been victorious had he remained in the race and Mercedes’ mistakes had occurred, it absolutely has to hurt the Dutchman after his abrupt exit from the race. 

As Leclerc locked up and punted Perez off, Verstappen was forced to take evasive action and ran wide and into the gravel trap, becoming a passenger as his car rammed into the barrier. 

With Bottas faltering, he could have had a great chance to move closer to that P2 spot in the championship but it was not to be. 

In the sister Red Bull, Alex Albon had another underwhelming race following on from a poor qualifying. With Perez passing him en route to a stunning win, Red Bull can surely no longer find any competitive justification to retain Albon over Perez for next year...

Who was your biggest winner and loser from the Sakhir Grand Prix? What did you think of Perez’s maiden win and Mercedes’ disaster? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to Crash F1.